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Arthur Baker presents new collection of Shep Pettibone remixes

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ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS: The SHEP PETTIBONE MASTER-MIXES Arthur Baker Presents Dance Masters: The Shep Pettibone Master-Mixes is the first in a series of brand new series which opens with a new collection of 12” and 7” remixes by the man who shaped the sound of the dancefloor in the 1980s, Shep Pettibone.

This collection of Shep’s remixes launches Arthur Baker‘s Dance Masters, a series that will celebrate the heritage of the great dance remixes of the 20th century.

This first-ever collection of one of the most successful and celebrated remixers features 46 tracks compiled and sequenced by Wayne Dickson (BBR/Groove Line Records) in conjunction with series curator Arthur Baker; this collection highlights some of the biggest acts of the 80s as well as underground club acts. Some of these remixes are incredibly rare, and some of them are making their CD debut.

The set is presented as 4 CDs, plus a 32-page book. The book includes a foreword written by Baker, an extended quote from Neil Tennant and a fan essay written by Billboard dance columnist Bill Coleman which features quotes from the likes of John Taylor, Andy Bell, Gloria Estefan and Cyndi Lauper.

The set also includes track-by-track annotations from the likes of DJs Danny Krivit, Lenny Fontana and Colin Curtis, along with artists such as Randy Muller (Skyy) and Richie Weeks (The Jammers/Weeks and Co).

Arthur Baker: “What Shep Pettibone had that most other mixers did not, was a true radio sensibility. He inherently knew what would work on the airwaves, but was equally comfortable in a club setting, as a DJ and a fan, so he knew what worked both on the dance floor and on radio. That was a deadly combination. Shep was also very open to all types of music and acts. From UK alternative sounds to NYC street sounds. From campy pop to gospel disco and electro R&B, Shep nailed them all and brought his expert sheen and sense of excitement to each of them. I am incredibly proud to open the Dance Masters series with this collection of some of his best work.”

Featuring a list of some of the biggest and most diverse artists of the 1980s, including Whitney Houston, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Pointer Sisters, Run-DMC, Kim Wilde Lionel Richie, Depeche Mode and New Order, Arthur Baker Presents Dance Masters: The Shep Pettibone Master-Mixes is a unique collection of some of the most exciting records of the decade.

You can pre-order here.

ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS: The SHEP PETTIBONE MASTER-MIXES

ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS: THE SHEP PETTIBONE MASTER-MIXES

46 TRACK 4CD & TWO DOUBLE ALBUM SETS RELEASED 13th AUGUST* ON EDSEL RECORDS

Disc One:

 GEORGE MICHAEL – HARD DAY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 9.05 

DURAN DURAN – I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE (12” Shep Pettibone Big Mix) 7.55 

LEVEL 42 – LESSONS IN LOVE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 7.48 

WHITNEY HOUSTON – SO EMOTIONAL (Shep Pettibone Edited Remix) 4.26 

BELINDA CARLISLE – HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH (12” Shep Pettibone Heavenly Remix) 5.55 

B-52’S- SUMMER OF LOVE (12” Summer Party Mix) 6.04 

HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS – HIP TO BE SQUARE (12” Shep Pettibone Dance Mix) 6.11 

MIAMI SOUND MACHINE – BAD BOY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 6.11 

CYNDI LAUPER – CHANGE OF HEART (12” Shep Pettibone Extended Version) 7.53

RUN D.M.C – IT’S TRICKY (12” Shep Pettibone Club Version) 7.19 

PAULA ABDUL – KNOCKED OUT (Pettibone 12”) 6.12

NARADA – DIVINE EMOTIONS (7” Shep Pettibone Single Mix) 4.12 

 

Disc Two:

 PET SHOP BOYS – WEST END GIRLS (12” Shep Pettibone Mastermix) 8:27 

ALISHA – BABY TALK (12” Shep Pettibone Special Remix) 6.45 

THE FLIRTS – YOU AND ME TALK (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 6.03 

PHYLLIS NELSON – I LIKE YOU (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 7.27

NEW ORDER – BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 6.41

DEPECHE MODE – BEHIND THE WHEEL (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 5.55 

ERASURE – CHAINS OF LOVE (12” Unfettered Mix) 8.25 

KIM WILDE – YOU CAME (Shep Pettibone 7” Version) 4.10 

THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS – SHOCK (The Shep Pettibone Mix) 7.21 

ELTON JOHN – I DON’T WANNA GO ON WITH YOU LIKE THAT (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 7.59 

THE COMMUNARDS – NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE (Single Mix) 4.28

GLORIA GAYNOR – I AM WHAT I AM (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.56

 

Disc Three:

 LISA LISA & CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE – I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 6.22 

SANADA MAITREYA ‎– IF YOU LET ME STAY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 6.30 

FIVE STAR – ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 6.38

POINTER SISTERS – GOLDMINE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) 6.32  

LIONEL RICHIE – LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL (12” Version) 7.07

B B & Q – (I’M A) DREAMER (12” Shep Pettibone Vocal/Long Version) 7:09

HOWARD HEWETT – STAY (12” After Midnight Mix) 7.26 

GEORGE BENSON – TWICE THE LOVE (12” Club Love Mix) 7.40 

THOMPSON TWINS – IN THE NAME OF LOVE ’88 (12” Railroad Mix) 6.40

LISA STANSFIELD – THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME (Shep Pettibone Mix) 9.44

PIA – DANCE OUT OF MY HEAD (The Dressed-Down Mix) 7.44 

 

Disc Four:

 LEROY BURGESS – HEARTBREAKER (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 5.53 

SINNAMON – THANKS TO YOU (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.59 

THE JAMMERS – BE MINE TONIGHT (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 7.02 

INSTANT FUNK – (JUST BECAUSE) YOU’LL BE MINE (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.52

AURRA – SUCH A FEELING (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 6.28 

CAROL WILLIAMS – NO ONE CAN DO IT (LIKE YOU) (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 6.57 

STEVE SHELTO ‎– DON’T GIVE YOUR LOVE AWAY (Short Version) – 3.42 Demon

SKYY – SHOW ME THE WAY (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.55 

MIKE AND BRENDA SUTTON – DON’T LET GO OF ME (GRIP MY HIPS AND MOVE ME) (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 6.54 

WEEKS AND CO. – IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR FUN (12” Shep Pettibone Master Dub Mix) – 7.42 

SALSOUL ORCHESTRA – OOH I LOVE IT (LOVE BREAK) (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 7.25 

FIRST CHOICE ‎– LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 7.58 

 

Compiled by Wayne A. Dickson for Demon Music in conjunction with series Curator Arthur Baker.

 

ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS VOLUME 1 THE SHEP PETTIBONE MASTERMIXES

VINYL TRACKLISTING VOLUME ONE 

2 x 180g CLEAR VINYL

 

A.

GEORGE MICHAEL – HARD DAY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 9.05 

DURAN DURAN – I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE (12” Shep Pettibone Big Mix) – 7.35

WHITNEY HOUSTON – SO EMOTIONAL (Shep Pettibone Edited Remix) – 4.36 

THOMPSON TWINS – IN THE NAME OF LOVE ‘88 (12” Railroad Mix) – 6.40 

 

B.

LEVEL 42 – LESSONS IN LOVE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 7.44 

BELINDA CARLISLE – HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH (12” Shep Pettibone Heavenly Remix) – 5.55 

MIAMI SOUND MACHINE – BAD BOY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.11 

CYNDI LAUPER – CHANGE OF HEART (12” Shep Pettibone Extended Version) – 7.53 

 

C.

PET SHOP BOYS – WEST END GIRLS (12” Shep Pettibone Mastermix) – 8:35 

ALISHA – BABY TALK (12” Shep Pettibone Special Remix) – 6.45 

B-52’S- SUMMER OF LOVE (12” Summer Party Mix) – 6.04

HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS – HIP TO BE SQUARE (12” Shep Pettibone Dance Mix) – 6.05 

 

D.

NEW ORDER – BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.43 

DEPECHE MODE – BEHIND THE WHEEL (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 5.57 

ERASURE – CHAINS OF LOVE (12” Unfettered Mix) – 8.25

ELTON JOHN – I DON’T WANNA GO ON WITH YOU LIKE THAT (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 7.20

 

ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS

VOLUME 1 THE SHEP PETTIBONE MASTERMIXES

VINYL TRACKLISTING VOLUME TWO* (*Released 15th October)

2 x 180g CLEAR VINYL

 

A.

LISA LISA & CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE – I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.22 

SANADA MAITREYA – IF YOU LET ME STAY (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.30 

FIVE STAR – ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 6.38 

B B & Q – (I’M A) DREAMER (12” Shep Pettibone Vocal/Long Version) 7:09 

 

B.

POINTER SISTERS – GOLDMINE (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 6.32 S

LIONEL RICHIE – LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL (12” Version) – 7.07

HOWARD HEWETT – STAY (12” After Midnight Mix) 7.26  

GEORGE BENSON – TWICE THE LOVE (12” Club Love Mix) – 7.40 

 

C.

LEROY BURGESS – HEARTBREAKER (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.53

INSTANT FUNK – (JUST BECAUSE) YOU’LL BE MINE (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.52

SALSOUL ORCHESTRA – OOH I LOVE IT (LOVE BREAK) (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 7.15

THE FLIRTS – YOU AND ME TALK (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 6.03

 

D.

GLORIA GAYNOR – I AM WHAT I AM (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 5.56

PHYLLIS NELSON – I LIKE YOU (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) 7.27 

THE JAMMERS – BE MINE TONIGHT (12” Shep Pettibone Mix) – 7.02 

FIRST CHOICE – LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER (12” Shep Pettibone Remix) – 7.58 

 

Compiled by Wayne A. Dickson for Demon Music in conjunction with series Curator Arthur Baker.

 

ARTHUR BAKER PRESENTS DANCE MASTERS

VOLUME 1 THE SHEP PETTIBONE MASTERMIXES

46 TRACK 4CD & TWO DOUBLE ALBUM SETS 

RELEASED 3rd SEPTEMBER* ON EDSEL RECORDS

 

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Top 20 No.1s That Owed A Debt To The 80s

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The 80s didn’t stop in 1989, oh no. In the world of music, the last three decades have leaned heavily on that classic decade. Jon O’Brien looks at the best No.1s that owed a debt to the 1980s…

Top 10 80s no.1s

As LadBaby’s sausage roll-themed retooling of Starship’s We Built This City proved last Christmas, the act of reviving a Top 40 hit from the 1980s can still lead to chart-topping success. In fact, over the past 30 years, more than 30 UK No.1s have borrowed heavily from the decade, whether via a subtle or, more likely, a blatant sample, a straightforward or radical cover version, or simply a re-release of the original.

Ignoring the tracks whose inspirations reached pole position first time around (eg Puff Daddy’s interpolation of The Police’s Every Breath You Take on I’ll Be Missing You, or Gabrielle Aplin’s rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power Of Love), here’s our countdown of the 90s, 00s and 10s No.1s which owe it all to the 80s.

20 The Black Eyed Peas: The Time (Dirty Bit) (interpolation of Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’ (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, No.6, 1987)

It’s easy to forget that will.i.am and co. were once regarded as an alt-hip-hop outfit in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest. The Time (Dirty Bit) sticks rigidly to The Black Eyed Peas’ super-commercial formula – bleepy synths, clubby beats and enough AutoTune to make Daft Punk sound organic, all topped off with a lazy sample of the Dirty Dancing number. Unlike Jennifer Grey’s Baby, this definitely deserved to be put in the corner.

19 Dizzee Rascal and James Corden: Shout (interpolation of Tears for Fears’ Shout, No.4, 1984)

Dizzee Rascal was hailed as the voice of his generation with Mercury Prize-winning 2003 debut album Boy In Da Corner. And yet within seven years the grime pioneer was fronting a Simon Cowell-backed Tears For Fears cover with one half of Horne & Corden. Shout, of course, was England’s unofficial 2010 World Cup song. But neither Dizzee’s dodgy rhymes nor Corden’s bellowing could inspire the Three Lions to anything more than a humiliating early exit.

18 KWS – Please Don’t Go (originally recorded by KC & the Sunshine Band, No.3, 1979)

KWS’s house-pop reworking of KC & The Sunshine Band’s lovelorn ballad just about qualifies here – the original reached its peak position in only the second chart week of 1980. The group were hastily assembled to cover Please Don’t Go following a UK rights issue with German act Double You’s similar idea. And then there’s the rumour that it was recorded with an ulterior motive – to persuade Des Walker to stay at the trio’s beloved Nottingham Forest.

17 A1: Take On Me (originally recorded by A-ha, No.2, 1985)

Contrary to what the casual music-buying public would probably believe, A-ha’s sole UK No.1 appeared courtesy of The Sun Always Shines On TV, not one of the 1980s’ quintessential hits. Originally reaching No.2, Take On Me did eventually go one better at the turn of the millennium thanks to an altogether more traditional boyband renowned more for their curtains than their cheekbones. A1’s cover version was accompanied by a Matrix-meets-Tron video, which at the time was deemed cutting-edge.

Read more: The a-ha albums

16 Geri Halliwell: It’s Raining Men (originally recorded by The Weather Girls, No.2, 1983)

It seems fair to say that Geri Halliwell doesn’t possess the powerhouse tones of Martha Wash and Izora-Rhodes Armstead. But what she lacks in vocal ability, she makes up for in sheer enthusiasm on this spirited take on The Weather Girls’ classic. Recorded for the Bridget Jones’s Diary soundtrack in 2001, Halliwell gives it her all on her fourth successive and final UK No.1, with its Flashdance-inspired promo only adding to the sense of pure unadulterated camp.

15 DJ Sammy and Yanou featuring Do: Heaven (originally recorded by Bryan Adams, No.38, 1985)

DJ Sammy would later give Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer a similar trance-lite reworking but it was another AOR veteran that inspired his only UK chart-topper. A No.1 hit in the States, Bryan Adams’ Heaven was all but ignored across the pond. However, the diminutive Spaniard’s cover was practically unavoidable in the autumn of 2002, with a stripped-back Candlelight Mix also catering for those who preferred Magic FM to the Ministry Of Sound.

14 LL Cool J: Ain’t Nobody (interpolation of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, No.8, 1984)

There have been no less than six hit covers of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s funk classic, ranging from Liberty X’s clever mash-up with The Human League’s Being Boiled to Felix Jaehn’s insipid tropical house makeover. This unexpected chart-topper from one of hip-hop’s elder statesmen sits somewhere in-between. The coquettish call and response is a neat addition, but even LL himself sounds slightly bored with its pedestrian pop-rap production.

Read more: Top 20 Side Projects

13 Eminem: Like Toy Soldiers (sample of Martika’s Toy Soldiers, No.5, 1989)

From Labi Siffre (My Name Is) to Dido (Stan), Marshall Mathers’ sampling habits have always been a little more diverse, and indeed a little more unfashionable, than your average motormouthed rapper. Once again sitting at odds with his enfant terrible reputation, the third single from 2005’s Encore gave the anthemic power balladry of Martika’s US No.1 Toy Soldiers an unlikely new lease of life. The pitch-shifted sample sure isn’t subtle, but then Eminem is always at his most palatable when he plays it straight. 

12 The Bluebells: Young at Heart (originally reached No.8, 1984)

Almost unrecognisable from the Motown-tinged original that appeared on Bananarama’s 1983 debut album, The Bluebells’ Young At Heart has more in common with Dexys Midnight Runners than the brilliantly nonchalant girl group. The fiddle-driven folk reworking gave the Scottish outfit their first UK Top 10 hit in 1984. But it went on to occupy pole position for the whole of April nine years later when it soundtracked that memorable ‘Just Divorced’ ad for the Volkswagen Golf.

11 Room 5: Make Luv (sample of Oliver Cheatham’s Get Down Saturday Night, No.38, 1983)

A geeky guy throwing some shapes in a deodorant commercial was the unlikely catalyst for Oliver Cheatham’s rise to noughties chart-topper. Italian DJ Room 5’s chic reworking of the Detroiter’s sole UK hit, Get Down Saturday Night, got a captive audience pretty much every other ad break in 2003 thanks to its use in a Lynx promo. And Cheatham certainly appreciated the career boost. Not only did he re-record his vocals, he collaborated with Room 5 on his follow-up, too.

10 LMC vs. U2: Take Me To The Clouds Above (mash-up of Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, No.5, 1986 and U2’s With or Without You, No.4, 1987)

You get two bona fide 80s gems for the price of one with this floor-filling mash-up from 2004. Well, parts of them anyway. Firstly, there’s the utterly joyous opening two lines from Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, and secondly, there’s the shimmering guitar hook from arguably U2’s career-best single With Or Without You. The whole thing hangs together surprisingly well.

9 Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull: On The Floor (sample of Kaoma’s Lambada, No.4, 1989)

Jenny from the Block had briefly tiptoed onto the dancefloor with second single Waiting For Tonight. But she stomped all over it with both Louboutins in 2011 when she revived the brief Brazilian phenomenon known as the Lambada. The first and best of three party-starting collaborations with rent-a-rapper Pitbull, On The Floor borrowed the melody from Kaoma’s one-hit wonder, which itself cribbed from an early 80s Bolivian ballad.

8 Eric Prydz: Call On Me (sample of Steve Winwood’s Valerie, No.19, 1987)

Transforming Steve Winwood’s Valerie into an unlikely club anthem, Eric Prydz paved the way for a whole wave of faceless one-hit wonders in 2004. Indeed, pretty soon everyone from Hall & Oates to Boy Meets Girl were getting a similar treatment by opportunist hitmakers who quickly realised that slapping a four-to-the-floor beat on an 80s soft rock hit was a surefire bet. Call On Me enjoyed a briefly-interrupted five-week run atop the UK charts but is perhaps still best known for that gyrating FHM-friendly video.

7 The Tamperer feat. Maya: Feel It (sample of The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It, No.6, 1981)

The Tamperer were one of the few acts to climb to No.1 in the late 1990s, taking six weeks to reach the summit. You have to wonder what took the British public so long. From The Wizard Of Oz-inspired poser (“What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her?”) to the triumphant sampling of The Jacksons to Maya’s vampish vocals, everything about Feel It screams instant earworm. The Material Girl-sampling, brilliantly-titled If You Buy This Record (Your Life Will Be Better) nearly repeated the trick, too.

6 Michael Andrews and Gary Jules: Mad World (originally recorded by Tears for Fears, No.3, 1982)

Like the original, this stripped-back cover of Mad World took the slow-moving route to success. Tears for Fears’ breakthrough was initially recorded as a B-side to Pale Shelter before getting a release in its own right. And although Gary Jules and Michael Andrews’ solemn take on the song appeared on the Donnie Darko soundtrack in 2002, they had to wait until December 2003 to pip The Darkness in one of the most hotly-contested Xmas chart battles for years.

Read more: Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

5 Roger Sanchez: Another Chance (sample of Toto’s I Won’t Hold You Back, No.37, 1983)

It’s unlikely that many 00s clubbers would have recognised the vocal hook sampled on Roger Sanchez’s wistful house anthem. Another Chance borrowed from yacht rock stalwarts Toto but it was their forgotten No.37 minor hit I Won’t Hold You Back that imbued the track with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Its striking promo, which saw a young woman looking for love carrying a giant red heart across New York, also perfectly accompanied Steve Lukather’s yearning tones.

4 The Clash: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (originally reached No.17, 1982)

There’s a certain irony to one of rock music’s most fervent anti-capitalist bands owing their only UK No.1 to a TV commercial for the world’s biggest jeans company. The third of seven chart-toppers to emerge from a Levi’s campaign, the 1991 re-release of Should I Stay Or Should I Go may have sat at odds with The Clash’s punk principles but nine years on, its stop-start riff, tempo-shifting beats and, of course, Mick Jones’ snarling vocals, still sounded as gloriously anarchic as ever.

3 Rui Da Silva: Touch Me (sample of Spandau Ballet’s Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On), No.3, 1981)

A year after Aurora gave Duran Duran’s Ordinary World a subtle dance-pop makeover, Rui da Silva did something similar for their New Romantic rivals. But instead of going for the more predictable Gold or True, the Portuguese DJ opted for Spandau Ballet’s underrated first Top Three hit. Driven by Gary Kemp’s spiralling guitar riff and the longing smoky tones of Cass Fox, Touch Me is more post-party comedown than party starter.

Read more: Making Spandau Ballet’s Journeys To Glory

2 Beats International: Dub Be Good To Me (cover of The SOS Band’s Just Be Good to Me, No.13, 1984)

Amazingly, Jam & Lewis have never scored a UK chart-topper as producers, with a trio of No.2s for their muse Janet Jackson the closest they’ve come. They did, however, inadvertently achieve the feat as songwriters when Norman Cook got his hands on The SOS Band’s signature tune. Beats International threw in everything from Ennio Morricone to The Clash, transforming the sassy funk of the original into an intriguing pop collage befitting of the phrase “jam hot”.

1 George Michael: Fastlove (sample of Patrice Rushen’s Forget Me Nots, No.8, 1982)

A decent Top 10 hit in 1982, Patrice Rushen’s post-disco favourite ended up inspiring two separate No.1s more than a decade later. Will Smith would borrow its melodic refrain for his globe-conquering theme to mismatched buddy sci-fi Men In Black in 1997. But The Fresh Prince was beaten to the punch a year earlier by a man whose vocal talents could also be described as out of this world.

A much more uplifting affair than sombre predecessor Jesus To A Child, and indeed much of parent album Older, Fastlove sees George Michael extol the virtues of the one-night stand against a backdrop of slinky beats, subtle sax hooks and the kind of G-funk synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dr Dre record. Unlike Smith’s hip-pop effort, in which he essentially just raps over the existing track, Michael doesn’t allow the sample to dominate proceedings either, only dropping in Forget Me Nots’ cooing chorus during the infectious middle-eight. Michael never bettered this track commercially following its 1996 release – it was his last UK No.1 and remarkably his last ever entry on the US Hot 100 – and you could argue that he never bettered it creatively, too.

Read more: Making George Michael’s Older

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Top 20 No.1s That Owed A Debt To The 80s

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The 80s didn’t stop in 1989, oh no. In the world of music, the last three decades have leaned heavily on that classic decade. Jon O’Brien looks at the best No.1s that owed a debt to the 1980s…

Top 10 80s no.1s

As LadBaby’s sausage roll-themed retooling of Starship’s We Built This City proved last Christmas, the act of reviving a Top 40 hit from the 1980s can still lead to chart-topping success. In fact, over the past 30 years, more than 30 UK No.1s have borrowed heavily from the decade, whether via a subtle or, more likely, a blatant sample, a straightforward or radical cover version, or simply a re-release of the original.

Ignoring the tracks whose inspirations reached pole position first time around (eg Puff Daddy’s interpolation of The Police’s Every Breath You Take on I’ll Be Missing You, or Gabrielle Aplin’s rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power Of Love), here’s our countdown of the 90s, 00s and 10s No.1s which owe it all to the 80s.

20 The Black Eyed Peas: The Time (Dirty Bit) (interpolation of Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’ (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, No.6, 1987)

It’s easy to forget that will.i.am and co. were once regarded as an alt-hip-hop outfit in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest. The Time (Dirty Bit) sticks rigidly to The Black Eyed Peas’ super-commercial formula – bleepy synths, clubby beats and enough AutoTune to make Daft Punk sound organic, all topped off with a lazy sample of the Dirty Dancing number. Unlike Jennifer Grey’s Baby, this definitely deserved to be put in the corner.

19 Dizzee Rascal and James Corden: Shout (interpolation of Tears for Fears’ Shout, No.4, 1984)

Dizzee Rascal was hailed as the voice of his generation with Mercury Prize-winning 2003 debut album Boy In Da Corner. And yet within seven years the grime pioneer was fronting a Simon Cowell-backed Tears For Fears cover with one half of Horne & Corden. Shout, of course, was England’s unofficial 2010 World Cup song. But neither Dizzee’s dodgy rhymes nor Corden’s bellowing could inspire the Three Lions to anything more than a humiliating early exit.

18 KWS – Please Don’t Go (originally recorded by KC & the Sunshine Band, No.3, 1979)

KWS’s house-pop reworking of KC & The Sunshine Band’s lovelorn ballad just about qualifies here – the original reached its peak position in only the second chart week of 1980. The group were hastily assembled to cover Please Don’t Go following a UK rights issue with German act Double You’s similar idea. And then there’s the rumour that it was recorded with an ulterior motive – to persuade Des Walker to stay at the trio’s beloved Nottingham Forest.

17 A1: Take On Me (originally recorded by A-ha, No.2, 1985)

Contrary to what the casual music-buying public would probably believe, A-ha’s sole UK No.1 appeared courtesy of The Sun Always Shines On TV, not one of the 1980s’ quintessential hits. Originally reaching No.2, Take On Me did eventually go one better at the turn of the millennium thanks to an altogether more traditional boyband renowned more for their curtains than their cheekbones. A1’s cover version was accompanied by a Matrix-meets-Tron video, which at the time was deemed cutting-edge.

Read more: The a-ha albums

16 Geri Halliwell: It’s Raining Men (originally recorded by The Weather Girls, No.2, 1983)

It seems fair to say that Geri Halliwell doesn’t possess the powerhouse tones of Martha Wash and Izora-Rhodes Armstead. But what she lacks in vocal ability, she makes up for in sheer enthusiasm on this spirited take on The Weather Girls’ classic. Recorded for the Bridget Jones’s Diary soundtrack in 2001, Halliwell gives it her all on her fourth successive and final UK No.1, with its Flashdance-inspired promo only adding to the sense of pure unadulterated camp.

15 DJ Sammy and Yanou featuring Do: Heaven (originally recorded by Bryan Adams, No.38, 1985)

DJ Sammy would later give Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer a similar trance-lite reworking but it was another AOR veteran that inspired his only UK chart-topper. A No.1 hit in the States, Bryan Adams’ Heaven was all but ignored across the pond. However, the diminutive Spaniard’s cover was practically unavoidable in the autumn of 2002, with a stripped-back Candlelight Mix also catering for those who preferred Magic FM to the Ministry Of Sound.

14 LL Cool J: Ain’t Nobody (interpolation of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, No.8, 1984)

There have been no less than six hit covers of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s funk classic, ranging from Liberty X’s clever mash-up with The Human League’s Being Boiled to Felix Jaehn’s insipid tropical house makeover. This unexpected chart-topper from one of hip-hop’s elder statesmen sits somewhere in-between. The coquettish call and response is a neat addition, but even LL himself sounds slightly bored with its pedestrian pop-rap production.

Read more: Top 20 Side Projects

13 Eminem: Like Toy Soldiers (sample of Martika’s Toy Soldiers, No.5, 1989)

From Labi Siffre (My Name Is) to Dido (Stan), Marshall Mathers’ sampling habits have always been a little more diverse, and indeed a little more unfashionable, than your average motormouthed rapper. Once again sitting at odds with his enfant terrible reputation, the third single from 2005’s Encore gave the anthemic power balladry of Martika’s US No.1 Toy Soldiers an unlikely new lease of life. The pitch-shifted sample sure isn’t subtle, but then Eminem is always at his most palatable when he plays it straight. 

12 The Bluebells: Young at Heart (originally reached No.8, 1984)

Almost unrecognisable from the Motown-tinged original that appeared on Bananarama’s 1983 debut album, The Bluebells’ Young At Heart has more in common with Dexys Midnight Runners than the brilliantly nonchalant girl group. The fiddle-driven folk reworking gave the Scottish outfit their first UK Top 10 hit in 1984. But it went on to occupy pole position for the whole of April nine years later when it soundtracked that memorable ‘Just Divorced’ ad for the Volkswagen Golf.

11 Room 5: Make Luv (sample of Oliver Cheatham’s Get Down Saturday Night, No.38, 1983)

A geeky guy throwing some shapes in a deodorant commercial was the unlikely catalyst for Oliver Cheatham’s rise to noughties chart-topper. Italian DJ Room 5’s chic reworking of the Detroiter’s sole UK hit, Get Down Saturday Night, got a captive audience pretty much every other ad break in 2003 thanks to its use in a Lynx promo. And Cheatham certainly appreciated the career boost. Not only did he re-record his vocals, he collaborated with Room 5 on his follow-up, too.

10 LMC vs. U2: Take Me To The Clouds Above (mash-up of Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, No.5, 1986 and U2’s With or Without You, No.4, 1987)

You get two bona fide 80s gems for the price of one with this floor-filling mash-up from 2004. Well, parts of them anyway. Firstly, there’s the utterly joyous opening two lines from Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, and secondly, there’s the shimmering guitar hook from arguably U2’s career-best single With Or Without You. The whole thing hangs together surprisingly well.

9 Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull: On The Floor (sample of Kaoma’s Lambada, No.4, 1989)

Jenny from the Block had briefly tiptoed onto the dancefloor with second single Waiting For Tonight. But she stomped all over it with both Louboutins in 2011 when she revived the brief Brazilian phenomenon known as the Lambada. The first and best of three party-starting collaborations with rent-a-rapper Pitbull, On The Floor borrowed the melody from Kaoma’s one-hit wonder, which itself cribbed from an early 80s Bolivian ballad.

8 Eric Prydz: Call On Me (sample of Steve Winwood’s Valerie, No.19, 1987)

Transforming Steve Winwood’s Valerie into an unlikely club anthem, Eric Prydz paved the way for a whole wave of faceless one-hit wonders in 2004. Indeed, pretty soon everyone from Hall & Oates to Boy Meets Girl were getting a similar treatment by opportunist hitmakers who quickly realised that slapping a four-to-the-floor beat on an 80s soft rock hit was a surefire bet. Call On Me enjoyed a briefly-interrupted five-week run atop the UK charts but is perhaps still best known for that gyrating FHM-friendly video.

7 The Tamperer feat. Maya: Feel It (sample of The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It, No.6, 1981)

The Tamperer were one of the few acts to climb to No.1 in the late 1990s, taking six weeks to reach the summit. You have to wonder what took the British public so long. From The Wizard Of Oz-inspired poser (“What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her?”) to the triumphant sampling of The Jacksons to Maya’s vampish vocals, everything about Feel It screams instant earworm. The Material Girl-sampling, brilliantly-titled If You Buy This Record (Your Life Will Be Better) nearly repeated the trick, too.

6 Michael Andrews and Gary Jules: Mad World (originally recorded by Tears for Fears, No.3, 1982)

Like the original, this stripped-back cover of Mad World took the slow-moving route to success. Tears for Fears’ breakthrough was initially recorded as a B-side to Pale Shelter before getting a release in its own right. And although Gary Jules and Michael Andrews’ solemn take on the song appeared on the Donnie Darko soundtrack in 2002, they had to wait until December 2003 to pip The Darkness in one of the most hotly-contested Xmas chart battles for years.

Read more: Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

5 Roger Sanchez: Another Chance (sample of Toto’s I Won’t Hold You Back, No.37, 1983)

It’s unlikely that many 00s clubbers would have recognised the vocal hook sampled on Roger Sanchez’s wistful house anthem. Another Chance borrowed from yacht rock stalwarts Toto but it was their forgotten No.37 minor hit I Won’t Hold You Back that imbued the track with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Its striking promo, which saw a young woman looking for love carrying a giant red heart across New York, also perfectly accompanied Steve Lukather’s yearning tones.

4 The Clash: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (originally reached No.17, 1982)

There’s a certain irony to one of rock music’s most fervent anti-capitalist bands owing their only UK No.1 to a TV commercial for the world’s biggest jeans company. The third of seven chart-toppers to emerge from a Levi’s campaign, the 1991 re-release of Should I Stay Or Should I Go may have sat at odds with The Clash’s punk principles but nine years on, its stop-start riff, tempo-shifting beats and, of course, Mick Jones’ snarling vocals, still sounded as gloriously anarchic as ever.

3 Rui Da Silva: Touch Me (sample of Spandau Ballet’s Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On), No.3, 1981)

A year after Aurora gave Duran Duran’s Ordinary World a subtle dance-pop makeover, Rui da Silva did something similar for their New Romantic rivals. But instead of going for the more predictable Gold or True, the Portuguese DJ opted for Spandau Ballet’s underrated first Top Three hit. Driven by Gary Kemp’s spiralling guitar riff and the longing smoky tones of Cass Fox, Touch Me is more post-party comedown than party starter.

Read more: Making Spandau Ballet’s Journeys To Glory

2 Beats International: Dub Be Good To Me (cover of The SOS Band’s Just Be Good to Me, No.13, 1984)

Amazingly, Jam & Lewis have never scored a UK chart-topper as producers, with a trio of No.2s for their muse Janet Jackson the closest they’ve come. They did, however, inadvertently achieve the feat as songwriters when Norman Cook got his hands on The SOS Band’s signature tune. Beats International threw in everything from Ennio Morricone to The Clash, transforming the sassy funk of the original into an intriguing pop collage befitting of the phrase “jam hot”.

1 George Michael: Fastlove (sample of Patrice Rushen’s Forget Me Nots, No.8, 1982)

A decent Top 10 hit in 1982, Patrice Rushen’s post-disco favourite ended up inspiring two separate No.1s more than a decade later. Will Smith would borrow its melodic refrain for his globe-conquering theme to mismatched buddy sci-fi Men In Black in 1997. But The Fresh Prince was beaten to the punch a year earlier by a man whose vocal talents could also be described as out of this world.

A much more uplifting affair than sombre predecessor Jesus To A Child, and indeed much of parent album Older, Fastlove sees George Michael extol the virtues of the one-night stand against a backdrop of slinky beats, subtle sax hooks and the kind of G-funk synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dr Dre record. Unlike Smith’s hip-pop effort, in which he essentially just raps over the existing track, Michael doesn’t allow the sample to dominate proceedings either, only dropping in Forget Me Nots’ cooing chorus during the infectious middle-eight. Michael never bettered this track commercially following its 1996 release – it was his last UK No.1 and remarkably his last ever entry on the US Hot 100 – and you could argue that he never bettered it creatively, too.

Read more: Making George Michael’s Older

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Gorillaz free show announced for NHS workers

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Gorillaz free show

Gorillaz have confirmed their return to the live stage with a free show for NHS workers and their families on Tuesday 10th August at London’s The O2 arena.

This special Gorillaz free show, to thank and recognise all NHS staff who continue to work tirelessly to keep us all safe, marks the reopening of the venue as well as the band’s first live performance with an audience in over two years and takes place the day before their scheduled sold-out gig on Wednesday 11th August 2021.

All ticket holders will need to present a NHS COVID Pass on entry to gain access to the venue. Further information below.

Gorillaz drummer Russel Hobbs said: “Reap what you sow, y’know what I’m saying? We don’t just want to say thank you, we want to do thank you too, because we care about the people who care for us.”

Steve Sayer, VP & General Manager at The O2 said: “This is such a big moment for us. Our first live show in over 500 days, with one of the UK’s best bands playing to an audience made up of NHS staff and their families. We have missed the fans and live performances so much, we couldn’t be more proud to reopen with this event and to welcome such a great audience.”

For tickets and information on the Gorillaz live show, see here.

 For full ticket and information on the 11th August public show here.

Gorillaz free show

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